Why I Think SWS and Pulse Asia Should Stop Publishing Political Surveys

SWS Pulse Asia

With the 2016 elections coming closer, Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations (SWS) are continuously releasing their respective surveys, But regardless as to who are the potential candidates now leading on the these surveys, I think that these two opinion polling companies should stop publishing them.

But before I explain why, be reminded that Senator Grace Poe continuous to lead the 2016 presidential surveys. She is followed by VP Binay, with Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on the third. Now, let’s go back to some interesting facts based on surveys for the past presidential elections.

Based on the data compiled by Rappler, both Pulse Asia and SWS have the same result of surveys from 1992 to 2010. Both of them showed that Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Arroyo and Noynoy Aquino were leading their surveys. We all know that these politicians eventually became presidents.

A simple analysis would suggest that both opinion polling companies are “credible” enough. However, you should note that these surveys were conducted on April, a month before the election. Therefore, it is safe to say that many voters (including the respondents) have already made up their minds.

Nevertheless, the voting public (especially the first time-voters) should understand that the average number of respondents in both surveys is 1,200. You don’t need to be good in math to know how small the sample size is as compared to the actual number of voters throughout the entire country.

Yes, even my 10-year old son knows that 1,200 people does not represent the majority of voters. In that case, what is the significance of these surveys? Well, for candidates who are leading, it is a boost to gain confidence. For those who are at the far below, they will say that they don’t mind about the figures.

But how does the pre-election survey results affect the mindset of the voters? For voters who patiently and have the time to scrutinize each candidate, they will not depend on those numbers. But let’s face it, majority of Filipinos don’t have the luxury to listen to these candidates or to read their resumes.

Many of us are very busy working for their families, and will only depend on what they hear in TV news. Many first-time voters will only depend on what their parents and older relatives say, whom they really trust. Many of us don’t even bother to understand that 1,200 respondents are almost negligible.

And obviously, only a few of us bother to do a research on the real owners of Pulse Asia and SWS. But while both of them are consistent in telling the public that they are not bias, it cannot be denied that the results will have a great influence to voters, especially the masses. Reality bites, they cover the majority of voters.

Having said that, I think it is now time for Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations (SWS) for releasing surveys related to elections. And yes, surveys are fine as long as they are not influencing anyone and will not even be used as guide as to who should people vote for. In short, we should all vote according to our conscience.


The above article is a personal opinion sent to us by Eduarte Manansala, a businessman from Sta.Ana, Manila. TN is not in any way affiliated with any political party, and we are not endorsing any candidate in 2016. We decided to publish the article, hoping to receive decent comments and constructive criticisms.